Container, LNG Ships Good Investment Opportunities

Mumbai, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 27 2004, 05:30am hrs
Container ships and LNG ships are growth opportunties in the shipping industry considering the increase in Indias international trade and Indias joining the LNG bandwagon.

Speaking at a seminar organised by i-maritime on investment opportuntities in the shipping sector under tonnage tax regime, Sachin Kasera, a senior analyst with Pioneer Intermediaries -- a brokerage house stated that with the privatisation of container terminal in the country, it would be a good combination for a shipping line to enter this segment.

Similarly, the LNG policy, allowing Indian shipping companies to start with a 25 per cent stake in LNG ships and then increase it gradually to 100 per cent in 5-10 years, provides an excellent investment opportunity, he added.

Earlier, Shipping Corporation of India director SS Rangnekar said that 42 maritime countries comprising 85.78 per cent of world shipping tonnage followed zero/negligible or very low tonnage tax regime. Out of these, 70 per cent of the vessels are under flag of convenience.

Apart from the recent addition of Pakistan and Finland falling under a tonnage tax regime, countries including Korea and Japan are likely to join the tonnage tax regime countries, Mr Rangnekar said.

Commenting on the scenario in countries after the introduction of tonnage tax, Mr Rangnekar said that UK during 2001 saw 47 companies opting for it with the addition of 598 vessels. Norway after the introduction of this regime, saw an addition of 229 vessels during 1996-98 while Netherlands saw an addition of 142 vessels in a period of two years, he added.

Indian shipping tonnage currently hovers at 616 vessels, of which 215 vessels are over 20 years in age calling for replacement. Out of these 215 vessels, 80 vessels trade in the international waters while 96 are coastal vessels.